Best Board Games for Every Age Group


I grew up thinking I hated board games. Cue groaning every time the Parcheesi board came out or the Monopoly box opened. However after I started dating my husband, I realized that is not true. The truth is now I LOVE board games. I just grew up playing the not-so-fun ones, got used to losing, and decided to call it quits.

Today our home has 100 board games, all color-coded on display and organized into a google sheet with descriptions and details. And we spent our pregnancy eagerly waiting for our daughter to be old enough to play with us. Now that she is two, we have started introducing her to the easier games. If you are a board game-loving parent like I am or you just want to start getting into family game nights, here are the best games for you to try. And don’t worry, NO MONOPOLY! You won’t find classics or well-known games on this list. Best Board Games for Every Age Group

Games for First Time Tiny Tots

Snug as a Bug in a Rug

A cooperative matching game with low stress, teaching teamwork.

Recommended ages: 3-6 years. Separate playing levels for older kids. We play with a two-year-old just working on matching!

Acorn Soup

Use the recipe cards to find the correct ingredients for your soup! Teach your kids matching and counting.

Recommended ages: 2+

Monkey Around

Players draw movement cards and practice gross motor skills, such as hugs, high fives, and making silly faces.

Recommended ages: 2+

Other fun games for tots: Peaceable Kingdom has a variety of board games for the littlest ones.

Best Board Games for Every Age Group
Left: Acorn Soup, Right: Snug as a Bug in a Rug

Games for Ages 6+

Ticket to Ride: First Journey

Collect cards to build your own railroad and connect cities! Ticket to Ride comes in a dozen different versions for older players, so My First Journey is a great intro to start your board game collection as your kiddos grow up.

Recommended ages: 6+
Playtime: 15-30 minutes


A fun storytelling game to help build creativity.

Recommended ages: 6+
Playing time: 30 minutes

Exploding Kittens

Each player draws a silly card until someone gets the exploding kitten and loses. The cards are bright, fun, and silly, and it’s hard to not laugh!

Recommended ages: 6+
Playtime: 15 minutes per round

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Players take turns drawing cards with an image and a matching word. They take turns laying down cards and staying on order “Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, and Pizza.” When the card matches the word you say, everyone tries to slap the deck. But watch out! Some cards mean you must do an action first!

Recommended ages: 6+
Playtime: 15 minutes

Llama Line Up

Roll dice to decide what the llama is wearing and be the first to spot the llama wearing that exact outfit!

Recommended ages: 6+

Other fun games for younger kids: Apples to Apples Junior, Uno Flip.

Best Board Games for Every Age Group
Left: Llama Line Up, Middle: Dixit, Right: Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Board Games for Older Kids

King of Tokyo

Work together to defeat the mutant monsters, giant robots, and aliens attacking Tokyo!

Recommended ages: 8+
Playtime: 30 minutes


Build a 3D globe with habitats and attract animals to live on your planet.

Recommended ages: 8+
Playtime: 30-45 minutes

Potion Explosion

Like Candy Crush in real life! Pull colored marbles (ingredients) from the slide to trigger explosions and create potions.

Recommended ages: 8+
Playtime: 45 minutes

Hues and Clues

Use one and two-word clues to get your opponents to guess the right color. Brush up on your color vocabulary first!

Recommended ages: 8+
Playtime: 20-30 minutes

Other fun games for older kids: Trellis, Blank Slate, 5 Crowns, Blokus, Nefarious.

Best Board Games for Every Age Group
Left: Planet, Middle: Hues and Clues, Right: King of Tokyo

For Teenagers


Work in teams and give one-word clues to get your partner to guess the secret codewords.

Recommended ages: 14+
Playtime: 15 minutes per round

Ricochet Robots

Find the robot’s path from point A to B in as few moves as possible without touching the robot!

Recommended ages: 10+ (but works well with older kids)
Playtime: 30+ minutes

5 Minute Dungeon

Work together to defeat five rounds in 5 minutes each. (Works best in groups of 5!)

Recommended ages: 8+ (but fast-paced and high stakes works better in older groups)
Playtime: 25 minutes


Deck-building game in which you collect resources and power. Dozens of decks mean each game is different.

Recommended ages: 13+
Playtime: 30 minutes


Work together against a fast-spreading virus to find a cure!

Recommended ages: 8+ (It is likely you will lose a few times which can be frustrating and discouraging for younger kids)
Playtime: 45 minutes

The Resistance: Avalon

A game of deception among King Arthur’s realm. Find the evil spies before it’s too late.

Recommended ages: 13+
Playtime: 30 minutes

Other fun board games for teenagers: Photosynthesis, Splendor, Camel Up, Villainous.

Left: Codenames, Right: Ricochet Robots

Games for the parents with 2+ players: Fox in the Forrest Duet, Santorini, Tiny Towns, Ticket To Ride, Codenames Duet, Patchwork, Parks, Splendor.

Left: Santorini, Right: Splendor

I hope you can find something for your next, or first, family game night. Here are some great local places you can buy games!

Slice and Dice Pizzeria: Located off Unser/ McMahon. Slice and Dice also offer a wide variety of pizzas, and a board game expert can help you pick out a game. If you’d rather stay home, you can rent or purchase games and have them delivered with your pizzas. Slice and Dice even helped me set up copies of their games to photograph for this post!

Empire Board Game Library: Located off Central in Nob Hill. You can play in the library for an hourly rate per person with snacks and coffee, or just pop in for a purchase.

Old Town Hobbies and Games: Located in Old Town. You can visit to find a variety of tabletop games, card games, and hobby supplies with options for playing in-store, as well as a same-day pick-up for game purchases.

Read more about how board games can be a game-changer for your family!

Originally published August 2021.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.